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Effectiveness of Containment Strategies to Control Vehicular Traffic on Roads in Dhaka, Bangladesh during COVID-19 Pandemic: Use of Google Map Based Real-Time Traffic Data

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: Since the COVID-19 was first reported in Bangladesh on March 08, 2020, several containment strategies were adopted as non-pharmaceutical interventions nationwide to prevent the transmission of the virus. To reduce the prompt transference of COVID-19 from higher infected to lower infected area, controlling vehicular traffic cum people movement on roads is crucial. This study aimed to ascertain the effectiveness of containment strategies for controlling traffic during the pandemic. Six principal containment strategies were considered to explore their influence on traffic condition that included declaration of general holiday, closure of educational institution, deployment of force, restriction on religious gathering, closure of commercial activities, and closure of garments factories. The month of Ramadan as a potential event was also taken into account considering it might have an impact on the overall situation. Average daily journey speed was calculated from real-time traffic data of Google Map to understand the vehicular traffic scenario of Dhaka. Descriptive analysis and statistical modeling through linear regression method were carried out to comprehend the findings. The results of the study showed that average daily journey speed can be decreased by 3.07 km hr and 3.55 km hr during pandemic through revoking of general holiday and reopening of educational institutions, respectively. Deployment of force can increase the average daily journey speed by 4.046 km hr through keeping vehicles off the road, and consequently reducing the virus transmission. It is expected that these findings would provide new insights into decision-making and help to take appropriate strategies to tackle the future pandemic situation.

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